Research Methods (Grades 7-12) Self Paced

Research Methods (Grades 7-12) Self Paced

Instructor: Dahlen

Grades: 7-12

Length: 9 Weeks


Research Methods 


Brandy Dahlen, MPhil University of Cambridge 2001

I have a master's degree in history from the University of Cambridge in the UK, and I love teaching history, literature, research, and writing!  I have been teaching history, writing, research, and literature courses, as well as ACT prep, for elementary, middle, high school, and university students for 17 years, with the last 7 years online.

Course Overview:

This 9 week course will cover the fundamentals of researching and writing a complete research paper.  Students will choose their own topic to research and explore through the class.  We will discuss how to conduct research, what makes a source reliable, and how to present their ideas and research in a clear and logical manner.  Class will include hands on activities we complete together, as well as individualized feedback for the student for each step of the research process. I have extensive training in both research and writing and love to help students see the joy in researching a topic  in which they are interested and presenting their findings.  


1.        Each week you will be responsible for completing the assigned steps of your project.


2.       If at any point in this course you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.  I am ready and available if you need my assistance at any point.

Course topics:

Week 1-We will discuss how to choose and narrow down a topic to match the scope of the assignment.  We will discuss the foundational aspects of a research paper and the main purposes and functions of writing.  

Week 2-Class discussion will involve bias and point of view, how to choose reliable sources, how to account for sources that are less reliable, and common research techniques.  This class will involve the practical aspects of working with sources to find information from both primary and secondary documents.

Week 3-This week we will discuss the elements of effective note taking during an extended research project.  We will discuss what information is important to include for each source, as well as what is not important.  We will also discuss how to creatively find information that might be useful when sources are limited.

Week 4-In week 4, we will discuss the elements of a strong thesis, as well as its role in the process of constructing a cohesive research paper.  

Week 5-Next, we will cover how to create an effective outline, and how to organize your notecards to create a smooth writing process.

Week 6-This week we will discuss how to use the evidence found in the sources, how to use quotes effectively, and how to avoid common pitfalls of plagiarism.

Week 7-As students finalize their rough drafts, we will discuss proper citing techniques, as well as how to present their sources correctly in a bibliography.

Week 8-We will practice with in text citations and create proper formatting for MLA

Week 9-Finally, we will discuss editing and polishing a final draft

reward points